Archive for the ‘bonefish’ Category

Fishing in Cuba Now Legal!

April 30, 2015

US Citizens can now legally sport fish in Cuba

2015 will be remembered in Angling history as the year it became legal for US Citizens, in possession of a “people to people” travel letter from the non-profit fisheries research and conservation organization Bonefish Tarpon Trust (BTT), to sport fish in Cuba.

2015 is also the year travel restrictions were lifted, making it legal for US airlines to fly to Cuba, US travel agents to book travelers to Cuba and US insurance companies to offer travel insurance to US Citizens traveling to Cuba.

Angler Adventures has been assisting a limited number of US anglers traveling legally to Cuba for several years. But, the easing of restrictions in general and the travel license from BTT in particular, opens the door for any US angler wanting to fish Cuba.

What hasn’t changed (and will take years to catch up) is the tourist infrastructure within Cuba and the transportation network to Cuba. Traveling to Cuba is still complex. We recommend using a knowledgeable, qualified travel agent, whether it’s your first trip or your twelfth.

In addition to having a staff of fishing experts, Angler Adventures is a full service travel agency, licensed to sell travel insurance. Angler Adventures can assist you in selecting a fishing location in Cuba, prepare you for what to fish for and what to bring, assist you in obtaining the travel letter from the BTT, assist with your Cuban Visa, create the most efficient travel itinerary for you and your group and offer you the protection of travel insurance for trip cancellation, trip interruption, emergency medical evacuation, and more.

Call us today at 1-800-628-1447. There is so much more we’d like to share with you about this fascinating country and phenomenal saltwater fishery.

Want to know more about traveling to Cuba and its amazing Fisheries:  Click or Tap below.

Cuba: Now AvailableBonefish, Permit, Tarpon, Snook & More

Jardines de la Reina: Bonefish, Permit and Tarpon! Grand Slam!

Cayo Largo: Over 500 Fly Caught Permit!

Cayo Cruz: Big Bones and Tailing Permit

Isla de la JuventudBig Tarpon and Snook

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14 Pound Bonefish on a #2 Simram at North Riding Point Club, Grand Bahama

July 25, 2014
Huge Bonefish fooled by #2 Simram

#2 Simram fools 14 pound Bonefish & What’s New at North Riding Point Club

The bonefish in the photo above is a 14-pounder landed in February off the north shore of Grand Bahama. Carl Heilman, who landed this monster, also landed a tarpon (the group jumped 3 and landed 2). Chris Bamford landed the other tarpon, as well as the triggerfish, John Wilson jumped a tarpon and Scott Trerotola landed a 10 lb Mutton Snapper that was cruising behind a Ray. Each member of the group also landed several bonefish between 5 – 10 pounds.

Bill & Liz Aldendifer also had a fantastic trip to Grand Bahama. Together, they landed several fish in 7 – 8 pound range, a couple 9 pounders, a 10 pounder, and a 12 pounder on Bill’s birthday. Bill came close to having a 14+ pounder in hand, but lost it at the boat when the guide grabbed the leader. Bill, a permit aficionado, said that the 14+ pound bonefish fought harder than any permit he’s hooked, even his 30 pounder in Ascension Bay.

All of the above mentioned were Angler Adventures’ clients staying at North Riding Point ClubClick or Tap here to see Bill, Liz, Scott, and more photos of our clients with their fish on our Facebook page.

Paul-Adams-NRPCPaul Adams Takes Reigns at North Riding Point Club

Replacing Tim and Mercedes at North Riding Point Club (NRPC) is veteran lodge manager Paul Adams. Originally from Indiana, Paul was raised in the Bahamas, while his parents managed Deep Water Cay from 1976 – 1984. Paul attended school in McLeans Town, where he became friends with many of the famous Grand Bahama Guides, including NRPC head guide, Stanley Glinton, who taught Paul how to pole a skiff. Paul’s fly fishing instructor at an early age was none other than well known sportsman and author, AJ McClane. Paul and his wife Alison also managed Deep Water Cay for 8 years, from 1996 – 2004. Paul’s local knowledge, hands on management style and angling experience make him the perfect choice for this position.

New Hells Bay Marquesa SkiffsNorth Riding Point Club's New Hells Bay Marquesa Skiff

North Riding Point Club (NRPC) has acquired 5 new 17-foot Hells Bay Marquesa Skiffs with 90 HP Yamaha 4-stroke outboards and new trailers. NRPC has also upgraded their fleet of vehicles with a couple of newer Ford Explorer SUVs. The boats are equipped with padded seats, leaning bar and power poles. The Hells Bay skiffs have been in use since January 2013 and clients and guides alike are raving about the comfort and speed, especially when making the run to Sale Cay.

For reservations, or more information, please call Angler Adventures at 800-628-1447 or 860-434-9624 or send us an email at info@angleradventures.com.

Religious Experience vs Purpose in Life

October 23, 2013

Religious Experience vs Purpose in Life

by Chip Bates

In his fascinating article in the November/December issue of Fly Fishing in Salt Waters entitled, “Thinking Outside the Boat”, Editor John Frazier refers to his wading experiences at Grey’s Point Bonefish Bonefish Inn, Acklins Island, Bahamas, as a “religious experience”.

I’m an extremist member of that congregation.

I’m celebrating a half century of fly fishing this year. I’ve seen my passion for the sport get more and more focused over the years. In the 70’s, I caught my first bonefish on a fly in the Bahamas. In the 80’s, I added tarpon and permit (Belize, Mexico, Bahamas, Los Roques and Florida Keys). In the early 90’s, I chalked up my first double digit bone (Andros). In the late 90’s, I gravitated toward wading, mostly to enable my partner and me to fish at the same time, one in the boat, one on foot. That was also the decade I fished the Seychelles for the first time. Wow!

All-day-walking miles of gorgeous flats, searching for underwater movement of any kind, keeping sharks at bay when bones were in sight, mixing it up with milkfish, trevally and permit. It was way too much fun to call exercise.

By the year 2000, I had blinders on. I’d become a wading junkie, transfixed by catching big bonefish on foot in water so shallow, the fish couldn’t hide it’s own body parts!

Bonefish-tailing-on-the-Flats

Knowing where to find them, what tide, time of day, how to approach and catch these hyper sensitive, actively feeding fish, became my “purpose in life”!

Being in the right place at the right time, then having it confirmed by the sudden appearance of an enormous tail, creates an explosion of urgency, nervousness, opportunity and energy …. An adrenalin rush beyond compare. You get pretty good at judging the size of the fish by the thickness and width of the fork in his tail. Think jaws of life, not pruning shears!

Chip’s progression:
Sightfishing
Fishing for bonefish
Fly fishing for bonefish
Fly fishing for big bonefish
Fly fishing for big tailing bonefish
Fly fishing for big tailing bonefish while wading!
 
That's a big tail!

That’s a big tail!

Back to Fly Fishing in Salt Waters Editor, John Frazier.  John fished 3 days at one of the premier wading destinations in the Bahamas, Grey’s Point Bonefish Inn on Acklins Island, with Angler Adventure’s fishing “pro”, Doug Schlink. Three days was hardly enough, but John adapted quickly, caught lots of fish to 6 pounds and got a shot at a 10 + pound fish in 6 inches of water! I’ll give John a few years to ratchet up “religious experience” to “purpose in life”.  For a great read, by a talented writer, fisherman and photographer, check out this link to the:

  “Ultimate Wade Fishing Special” in the November/December 2013 issue.

Go Small. Go Light. Go Weedless.

October 11, 2013

Bonefish on Grass Flats

Go Small.  Go Light.  Go Weedless.

by Chip Bates

You can encounter tailing fish on any fertile bottom, but weedy bottoms hold the most prey, therefore the most fish. Big fish seem more comfortable feeding in the shallows over a dark bottom.  Click here for tips on Shallow Water, Tailing Fish.

The end of the outgoing and beginning of the incoming brings the skinniest water that’s when you’ll find fish tailing over the weeds. To catch them, you’ll need a fly that doesn’t “plop” when it hits the water: go small.

A tailing fish is focused on a small area.  Frequently he’ll create a cloud of sand or mud where he’s feeding. You must put the fly in the area where’s he’s rooting, a matter of inches from his nose. You must throw a fly that doesn’t spook him when it lands: go light.

Once the fly lands in front of the fish, let it sink, then give it the tiniest of strips: go weedless.

Without a weed guard, your fly will invariably snag on grass and stripping a fly that’s hooked on a weed is like drag on a dry fly.  Click Here for Tips on Tailing Fish over Weedy Bottoms.

There are loads of excellent flies for bonefishing in skinny water, but our number one fly is the Bunny Bone when we need to go small, light or weedless.  Having a variety of Bunny Bones in your fly box is a necessity, especially when wading for bonefish.  Tan or brown (tied with tan or pink thread) rabbit fur tail with a little gold Mylar and mono eyes are top producing colors.  It’s also a great fly in slightly deeper water with small or medium bead chain eyes, instead of mono.  Try adding crazy legs and don’t forget the weed guard!  Click here for more information on tying bonefish flies, including the Bunny Bone.

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Update on South Andros

May 10, 2013

Most anglers identify South Andros as a huge expanse of wadable flats around the southern and southwestern tip of the island:  Flats filled with large schools of uneducated bonefish in the 2-4 pound range eager to eat flies.  Anyone interested in seeing larger fish in singles and doubles would gravitate the North Bight of Andros, the West Side of Andros, or the North Shore of Grand Bahama.  Think again!

Over the last few years, more and more clients fishing Bair’s Lodge, Andros South, Pleasant Bay or Mars Bay are catching big bonefish.  The 7 – 10 pounders are being landed every month.  Mars Bay has kept a record of the bonefish caught this season, here are some highlights.

1)      The numbers of fish being caught over the spring and neap tides are virtually identical, but the “moon” tides are producing bigger fish.

2)      Anglers are landing good numbers of fish in the 27” – 31” range in each month.

3)      The largest bonefish landed was an astounding 36”.

To put some of this into perspective, and provide information on how to estimate the weight of your Atlantic bonefish, please refer to the table below, which has been excerpted from page 20 of Randall Kaufmann’s Bonefishing!.

Size (in)

Weight (lbs)

Size (in)

Weight (lbs)

18″

3.5

28″

8.6

19″

3.8

29″

9.6

20″

4.1

30″

10.8

21″

4.6

31″

11.9

22″

5.1

32″

13

23″

5.5

33″

14.4

24″

6

34″

15.6

25″

6.5

35″

16.8

26″

7.2

36″

18

27″

7.7

37″

19.2

This method of estimating weight is not as accurate as [girth2 x length / 800], however it does highlight the massive size of a 36” bonefish!  For those of us with ruler marks on our rods, it also provides an easy way to estimate the weight of our bonefish and minimize the amount of time spent handling the bonefish (click here for best practices for on handling and releasing bonefish).

Go ahead and speculate why there are so many more big bonefish being caught on the South Andros flats.  It could be cyclical, climate change, guides getting better at finding bigger fish, or better anglers doing the fishing.  With anglers landing plenty of fish in the 7.7 to 11.9 pound range, our conclusion is that this might be the best time to fish South Andros.

Three Second Rule

October 26, 2012

Bonefish Flies

One of the biggest mistakes a bonefisherman can make is failing to adjust his fly to changing water depth.  Your fly should be weighted such that it sinks quickly to the bottom and then stays near the bottom within view of the fish after you begin stripping.  If you strip the fly above a bonefish, it will never see it.
The average flat depth, whether you’re wading or poling, ranges from 1-2½ ft.  In this depth, a Gotcha or Amber Shrimp with medium sized bead chain eyes should provide close to the perfect sink rate, without overweighing the fly (and potentially spooking the fish).  A good rule of thumb is your fly should reach the bottom in about 3 seconds.  If you find your fly is not getting to the bottom, you should switch to a fly with lead eyes or add a few wraps of lead wire to the eye of the fly.

The angler who is willing to fish deeper flats will often be rewarded with the largest bonefish.  Big bonefish prefer the protection of deeper flats or shallow flats close to deep water.  When you’re fishing water 3-4 feet deep, you’ll need a fly with lead eyes to get to the bottom quickly.  Proven deep-water flies are the Clouser minnow (especially tan and white and chartreuse and white), the Simram, (a rabbit fur version of the Gotcha fly with lead eyes) and Henry Cowen’s Bonefish Scampi. Lead eyes come in a variety of weights and for joy of casting, you’ll want to carry flies with the smaller lead eyes, as well as the heavier lead eyes that cause many of us to duck when forward casting.

The last thing a bonefisherman wants to do is scare the daylights out of an actively feeding fish by casting too heavy a fly too close to the fish. Therefore, you must go light in skinny water. By light we mean no weight other than the weight of the hook. For this we recommend mono (or plastic) eyes and a body that lands softly. A well-designed fly for this situation is a pattern called the bunny bone in sizes 4, 6, and 8.

The bunny bone is made with rabbit fur, rug yarn and mono eyes.  You can throw this unweighted fly quite close to a tailing fish. Its entry into the water is soft, but it sinks well. The rabbit fur makes it look alive even before it’s stripped. All you need to do is give it the tiniest of strips. Don’t strip the fly too far or too fast when working a tailing fish.

Before you begin fishing it is also advisable to have a handy selection of the flies you’re most likely to use that day.  Have a selection that covers all water depths, so you are prepared when a quick change is required.  For even quicker adjustments to changes in water depths, have a spool of lead wire handy and wrap a small piece around the eye of the fly, as needed.

 This was another except from the Angler Adventures “Bahamas What to Bring List”.

Seychelles Best Flats Fishing – Farquhar Atoll

August 17, 2012

The Seychelles became a bucket list destination because it’s a beautiful, remote destination with fantastic wading for bonefish on hard sand & coral flats and a variety of other species both on and off the flats that added depth to the fishery.  Recently, a new fishing operation has opened on Farquhar Atoll, which has taken those credentials to the next level.  

Beautiful and remote? Farquhar is called the “Jewel of the Seychelles” and considered to be the most beautiful island in the archipelago and also the southern most atoll (2 hour flight from Mahe).  The staff and guests are the only people on the atoll, living in the islands only accommodations.  Check.

Fantastic Bonefishing? The fishing is 100% wading.  The average schooling bonefish is 4 – 6 pounds and there will be quite a few bonefish in the 6 – 8 pound range.  Most anglers end up leaving the schools to find fish in single and doubles for a bit more of a challenge.  Check.

Variety of Species?  In addition to Bonefish, there are the normal fish you’d expect to see on a flat in the Seychelles: Shark, Barracuda, Snapper, Triggerfish, Trevally (including Giant Trevally), Milkfish, Napoleon Wrasse and Indo-Pacific Permit.  The guides on Farquhar have also figured out how to catch Humphead Parrotfish, which were previously though to be uncatchable on the fly and become experts at targeting GT’s (Giant Trevally).  You can also fish deeper water for Sailfish, several Grouper species, Yellowfin Tuna, Wahoo, Job fish, and more.  A client of our landed 18 different species on the fly…all with a floating line!    Check.

This is truly one of the special fishing destinations in world, and the reservations book shows it – the first availability is for late-October 2013.  If you’re interested in fishing Farquhar, we suggest getting started now.  Like Farquhar, but more interested in Bonefishing?  Check out Farquhar’s sister operation St. Brandon’s Atoll, which has better bonefishing with less variety

Farquhar Bonefish

Bonefish!

St Brandon’s Atoll Bonefishing

July 19, 2012

FlyCastaway has arrived in Connecticut and we’ve been enjoying spending some quality time with Gerhard and hearing him speak about the fishing programs.  You may not have heard, but St Brandon’s has been described as the finest bonefishing in the world.  We know it’s a tall order to fill, since there are excellent fisheries like North Riding Point, that produce quality numbers of double digit bonefish each year.  An excerpt from a FlyCastaway’s description of the May 11 – 20, 2012 trip to St. Brandon’s.  

The week started off with an absolute bang, the neap tides meant we had ample time to fish some of our Bonefish hotspots and we literally climbed into the monsters St Brandon’s has become renowned for. Simply put, the fishing was off the charts! Each day at least one team would return home with an image of a weighed double digit Bonefish. For those not in the know, most dedicated saltwater anglers will go his entire lifetime without ever holding a 10lb fish….and we were doing it on a daily basis. By the end of the week we racked up no less than ten fish, which weighed over the 10lb mark, two of which were eleven pounds!

The average size was equally impressive, and when guys started putting their noses up at eight pounders we had to give them a little pep talk. Something along the lines of “each fish is special” and “you don’t know when you’ll get this opportunity again”. Added to this we had some scary good sight fishing for these hogs as they tailed in water no deeper than our gravel guards …

The “schooling” bonefish are in the 6 – 7 pound class, one or two 4-pound bonefish may be the smallest bonefish you’ll see, and there are bones there pushing 14-pounds.  Oh, the fishing is 100% wading and there are only 8 anglers fishing these flats every other week over two 3-month seasons each year. If you love bonefishing, this might just be having your cake and eating it too!

Nice Bonefish from St. Brandon's Atoll

FlyCastaway visits Angler Adventures

July 12, 2012

Gerhard Laubscher of FlyCastaway is visiting Angler Adventures in Connecticut next week and giving a couple of presentations about FlyCastaway’s cutting edge fishing operations on St. Brandon’s Atoll, Mauritius and Farquhar Atoll, Seychelles.  Both destinations offer spectacular fisheries that get almost no fishing pressure due to their remote locations and are priced like rare commodities, adding exclusivity to both destinations attributes (Farquhar prices at $7,500 US and St. Brandon’s prices at 6,500 Euro). 

To get started, here’s the guides report from the April 4 – 11, 2012 week at Farquhar that included one of our clients, Steve Gross, who was looking to tally up as many species as possible.

If you’d like to attend Gerhard’s presentations, click here.

Farquhar Atoll: 4-11 April 2012

Beautiful TrevallyLike a tide eager to begin its initial surge, our new group of guests arrived on the shores of Farquhar champing at the bit to explore the multitude of flats and species Farquhar has on offer. After our customary quick briefing and some hasty rigging of tackle, the group which consisted of 9 men and one hard core fisherwoman set out to get a brief taste of what was in store for the rest of the week. The weather was set to be stable …we were hoping for an absolute cracker!

GT's are abundant on FarquharYves quickly enticed his first Trigger to eat the fly. Jeff joining the action as he got stuck into a Milky as they are still here and feeding hard! Clare quickly showed the boys she was here to do business by landing the first GT, sadly her Dad. Finally after countless attempts, Wayne O finally managed to land his Trigger, which has been eluding him for years. And it didn’t end there for Wayne as he recorded our first Farquhar Slam, that being GT, a Bone and a Trigger in one day. Now that’s some serious angling and bragging rights!

There are Milkies too!But back to the rest of the week, the Milkies were still hanging around and after and epic battle, Alex landed his first Milky, awesome fish Alex! His action didn’t stop there either, he also managed to land a GT and a Bone in the same day, quite an achievement. Good fishing was being experienced by all, although we did have a fair number of large GTs lost due to hooks pulling and lines breaking. Clare however had the pink touch (literally), and landed another good GT. Things were heating up and the pressure was on to get the desired species.

A small GT is still a Giant Trevally!!!Ian subsequently also made his way in to the record book by landing all three of the species and Yves just failing to qualify by losing his GT. Wayne, Dean and Jeff had one truly memorable day whereby they landed 5 GTs, although Wayne did get smoked by a Yellowfin Tuna which tore off 300m of backing in less than 20 seconds late in afternoon!

Triggerfish offer a flats fishing challange on Farquhar2 Slams in two days. Let’s make it 4 in three days. Dean and Jeff decided they also wanted a taste of that action and had no trouble landing a Trigger, a Bone and a GT. Piece of cake, all in a day’s work at the office….these were the comments around the dining room table each evening. Steve continued his species count and landed a truly impressive Napoleon.

Don't under estimate these Sharks.  They're fast, powerful, and fun on a fly, especially on a skinney flat.Last day out on the flats and Ian once again showed his metal landing a 98cm GT which was the largest of the week. Jeff and Wayne muscled in some Bumphead Parrotfish, whilst Steve braved “THE WALK” and reaped the rewards, landing Bones, Bluefin and two Blackfin Sharks. It was really good to have Steve out fishing with us after months of preparations and planning!

An amazing week of fishing with 4 Farquhar Slams, 15 GTs, 6 Triggers, 2 Napoleons, some Bumpheads, a Milkfish and countless Bluefin, Grouper and Snapper. That is what Farquhar is all about!

Bonefishing in Winter Water Temps

September 28, 2011

One of the top 3 questions we get asked is, “When is the best time to go bonefishing?”  While the answer varies on the anglers’ expectations and their destination, here’s a good argument for fishing the winter months by Doug Schlink of Angler Adventures

For years I’ve heard that you shouldn’t go bonefishing in the winter months (December, January, February, even March) because of the risk of cold fronts.  I’ve also heard and read that bonefish are temperature sensitive and it’s futile to fish in water temperatures under 70 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Hogwash!  In 25 years of booking bonefish trips and making plenty of them myself, I’d like to offer my “observations” on the subject.   While I haven’t adhered to strict scientific doctrine, I always carry a stream thermometer on bonefish trips and check water temps frequently.  And in my opinion, it’s more important which direction the water temperature is moving. 

Yes, when a cold front pushes in and chills the water temps on the flats below 68 – 70 degrees, bonefish will start moving off the flats if they feel the temperature dropping, into deeper, warmer water.  It’s generally accepted (and I agree) that smaller bonefish are more sensitive to cooler water temps and the bigger boys will stay up on the flats feeding longer with dropping water temps (and be the first to return on rising temps).   I know a few trophy bone hunters who go in January so they won’t have to weed through the smaller fish!  As the water temp continues to drop, the bigger fish will also move off into deeper, warmer water.  But I’ve witnessed bigger fish feeding on the flat until temps hit 65 degrees.   If the temp continues to drop or holds steady at less than 65, fishing will be slow.

However, bonefish need to eat, and by design, they take their nourishment on the fertile, food-rich flats.   Deep water is Slim Pickens for a bonefish so they don’t like to stay there long.  It’s been my observation, that even when air temperatures are in the low to mid-60’s, if the sun is out, the flats will soak up the sun’s radiant heat and warm quickly.  As soon as the bones sense the water temperature is rising, they will return to the flats and feed voraciously.  And the fishing can actually be fantastic.  I’ve experienced this on numerous occasions, but perhaps the best example took place in late February on Grand Bahama a few years ago.   

North Riding Point Guide Bully with a Huge winter bonefish

Notice the Fleece? And the 14 lb January Bonefish?

My fishing buddy, Mark Hatter and I arrived during a “cold front”.   The water temperature on the flat was 63-64 degrees our first morning.   But the sun was strong, and the flat was soaking in the radiant heat, and the water temp was rising.  We barely got line stripped off our reels before we were making shots at hungry bones.   The sun held and the water temperature continued to slowly rise (I checked it several times during the day), and the bones fed like gluttons all day!   At 3:30 pm as we reeled in, I checked the temperature one last time – 69 degrees.  We had boated 32 bones, all between 5 and 9 ½ pounds, and the water temp never even hit 70 degrees!  It was a spectacular day of high quality bonefishing – in the dead of winter, on the tail of a cold front – when you’re not supposed to go! 

I’ve had other similar experiences that support my position.  And on the flip side, I’ve lost fishing days to wind and sideways rain in April and May, so called “prime time”.   The weather can bite you in the tail anytime.   The guy who said, “the best time to go fishing is when you can get away”, may have known something the “experts” didn’t!   So…Fear Not Winter Bonefishing!  You might just hit some of the best bonefishing you’ve ever had!

Want to learn more about bonefishing bonefishing in the winter months or go on a winter bonefishing trip – Call Doug in the Angler Adventures office (800-628-1447 / 860-434-9624) or email Doug@AnglerAdventures.com.


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